If you struggle with substance abuse and can’t break an addictive habit on your own, turn to Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center in Newark, New Jersey. Family nurse practitioners Virginia Atieh, FNP, Selande Charles, FNP, and their team offer substance abuse treatments to help you regain control of your life. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

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What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse is an addiction to certain substances, some of which may not be legal. These substances have addictive properties and can cause problems for your health. 

Addictive substances may also cause issues at work, school, or in relationships with other people. Getting treated for substance abuse can restore your quality of life.

Which substances are commonly abused?

Commonly abused substances include:

  • Nicotine
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Pain medications
  • Stimulants
  • Anxiety pills
  • Methamphetamine
  • Inhalants
  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • Hallucinogens

These substances, especially when used in excess, can lead to health problems and cognitive impairments. An addiction might cause you to lie, steal, perform poorly at work, get into a car accident, or spend excessive amounts of money.

What are the symptoms of substance abuse?

Common signs and symptoms associated with substance abuse include:

  • Inability to stop using a substance
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms without a substance
  • Strong urges to use substances
  • Mind-altering effects
  • Building up a tolerance
  • Poor work or school performance
  • Relationship problems
  • Depression
  • Other mood changes
  • Risky behaviors

Seek help at the first sign of substance abuse to undergo treatment and get your life back on track.

How does my provider diagnose substance abuse?

To diagnose substance abuse disorder and develop an effective treatment, a Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center specialist reviews your medical history and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. They complete a physical exam and may have you undergo blood tests, urine tests, a psychiatric assessment, or other types of diagnostic testing.

What are common substance abuse treatments?

Common substance abuse treatments your Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center specialist might recommend include:


Psychological counseling can help you learn coping mechanisms, practice behavioral change strategies, and break addictive habits once and for all.

Group classes

Group classes often include 12-step programs and other ways to treat substance abuse or gain motivational support needed for long-term success. 


Taking medications can reduce cravings for pain medications or other substances and reduce withdrawal symptoms while you recover.

Lifestyle changes

Making lifestyle changes can eliminate triggers for substance abuse. Depending on your situation, this might mean avoiding certain people or places, eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, and reducing stress.

Don’t let sustenance abuse cause problems with your job, relationships, or health. Call the Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.